Tag Archives: workplace culture

Employee Engagement - Leadership - Performance Management

Remote Work – How Fair is Your Organization?

I recently had three discussions about remote work in the same one-week period.

The first instance came up with a close friend. Yohan moved to the DC area during the pandemic because his wife got a new job here and his Charlotte-based company was allowing, and even encouraging, everyone to work remotely. Since relocating, Yohan has been promoted to the role of manager, and now his organization is calling all managers back to the office for a minimum of three days per week. Yohan has to decide if he will: 1) Get a new job; 2) Move back to Charlotte; or 3) Apply for a non-managerial position within his existing company.

The second person facing a remote-work predicament is a coaching client, Kathy, whose husband has accepted a job in another state. Kathy has been with the same university for the past 15 years where she has held a variety of administrative positions. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has worked remotely 100% of the time, and her performance appraisals reflect that her work and work ethic are exemplary. Kathy plans to move to the other state with her husband, but the university has a requirement that employees must live within a 90-minute commute so that there will be no overnight expenses associated with in-person staff meetings. While this requirement exists, there have not been any in-person meetings during the past three years.

And finally, I am working with a biotech firm trying to fill a niche position that has been open for months since the need for this particular skill set is so great and the pool of qualified personnel is so small. While the organization has primarily an in-person work environment, their organization does have a few exceptions; however, everyone agrees that this position would work best if the incumbent were in-person. According to the recruiter, they now have three highly-qualified candidates, but none are willing to relocate for the position.

How should companies manage these situations which are no longer unique, and in fact, are now quite commonplace? While each organization and industry must decide what is best based on their own business needs, I was most impressed with the process one of clients uses to designate a position as fully or partially remote. It starts by asking a number of important questions, like: 

  • How specifically will the individual continue to meet the organization’s business needs?
  • How will the proposed remote work benefit the organization?
  • How will the individual contribute to mentoring colleagues and to creating the culture of the organization?
  • If the position has direct reports, what processes will the manager use to manage remotely?

Do you agree that these are valid concerns? Can you think of other questions that need to be answered in order to start or continue remote work in a post-pandemic world? 

Read More
Communication - Employee Engagement

Who Cares What’s In Your Head?

When I arrived at my destination to conduct a recent in-person training, Sui was in the parking spot next to me. She greeted me warmly and stood at my hatchback while I unloaded my cart, lunch, flip chart, and other materials. 

As I was checking to make sure that I had removed all the right things – and left my workout clothes, grocery bags, and other personal items in the car – Sui was overloaded holding all of my aforementioned items. When I said strongly, “Sui, thank you, but you can’t carry all of that! Please give some of it back to me!” Sui graciously said, “I want to make your morning easier because your class is so helpful to me.”
What a way to start my morning! I mean, the assistance in getting from my car to the building was truly a help, and the compliment gave me even more energy and validation. I went from “happy to be here” to “THRILLED to be here!” Sui acted as though she didn’t have her own pressing assignments, and she stayed with me and assisted by setting up the room for all the participants.

As we were chatting, I said, “Sui, what in particular have you found valuable. What has stuck with you?” I was curious since we were about to start module four of a 12-module leadership program. Sui was quick to answer. She said, “Oh, when you said that we are paid not for the information and knowledge in our brain, but for how we act on that information.”  

I had told the managers, as I tell many groups, that while it’s critical for employees at all levels to have knowledge, education, and training – that alone is not enough. If managers have deep knowledge in their field of expertise, but they don’t use that knowledge to impact projects, ask insightful questions, and suggest alternatives, then truly that knowledge is of little value to the organization. I continued by saying that some of the time employees are included in a meeting to gain useful information, but most of the time when an employee or leader is included it is because the organization is hopeful that the person can and will contribute in a meaningful way.

Sui said she had never considered that and now, as a result, she is contributing more. She also said that she can see how her contributions are actually making a difference. This is a “win” for Sui, and a “win” for her organization as well!  

And what I found most interesting about this whole encounter with Sui is that this key takeaway for her may not have been as significant for all of the other participants. But hopefully each one of them experiences their own aha moments, and I hope they will share them with me!

Read More
Conflict Resolution - Leadership - Performance Management

Boo! What’s Scaring You?

Boo! It’s the time of year when we think about ghosts and goblins, spiders and bats.  

A few years ago I attended a concert around Halloween with my family. It was meant to be scary — ominous music, eerie decorations, and actors who jumped out and startled people. 

While I did get a jolt from all of that and it was great fun, that night I was more frightened by the workplace issues that I had encountered over the previous week. Yes, there are workplace issues that scare me even more than a random fake bat unexpectedly flying out of nowhere.

That fall I was able to work with my clients to solve the scary issues I’d encountered, and I enjoyed helping them improve their workplaces. Different workplaces have different issues, but every organization has concerns that need to be addressed.   

Do you have any of the following issues going on at your workplace? 

  • A CEO or senior leader with an anger management problem who bullies and intimidates employees
  • An employee who steals product or supplies from the company and acts like it’s the norm 
  • Staff members who routinely miss meetings, aren’t prepared, or do not add value to the company or the bottom line
  • Colleagues who make suggestive or inappropriate comments, creating an uncomfortable work environment
  • Deadlines that are so aggressive that it’s impossible to meet them
  • Employees who don’t receive coaching, training, or anything to improve, yet remain in the organization for 5,10, or even 20 years without really contributing
  • A board that is apathetic about the internal workings of the organization and acts as though the culture of the organization isn’t their problem
  • Peers who are so stressed and tightly wound and their reactions so intense, that you are scared to confer with them
  • Customers, patients, or vendors who make comments that are disparaging or abusive to your colleagues

Workplace issues don’t just impact the bottom line; they create stress and anxiety for workers that affect every aspect of the organization. What workplace issues scare you?

Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” If you are aware of any of the above, and you aren’t scared out of your Halloween costume, you should be! At Concordia Consulting we have solutions and we will collaborate with your organization to appropriately implement them.  

Read More
Page 1 of 37
1 2 3 37
1 2 3 37